While he claimed he was "not a bully" last week, it seems that NJ Governor Chris Christie probably is a bully, according to a new cache of documents FOILed by media outlets.
The nearly-weeklong September gridlock on roads from Fort Lee to the George Washington Bridge apparently grew out of Democratic Fort Lee mayor Mark Sokolich's refusal to endorse Christie for reelection last year (Christie, a Republican, was looking for a huge, bipartisan landslide victory). One of Christie's top aide, Bridget Anne Kelly, emailed Port Authority executive David Wildstein in August, "Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee." Sokolich, understandably, complained to Wildstein's boss about the traffic issues, and Wildstein reported to Kelly that Sokolich was being ignored: "Radio silence. His name comes right after Mayor Fulop."
Mayor Fulop is Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop, another Democrat who also refused to endorse Christie. The NY Times reports: "After Mr. Fulop told Christie aides on July 18 that he would not endorse the governor, the commissioners began calling to cancel the day’s worth of meetings." According to the Jersey Journal:
They also show Fulop’s scheduler, Nancy Warlikowski, emailing the mayor on three dates in late July to tell him that the state officials scheduled to meet with him canceled. On July 18 at 4:53 p.m., Warlikowski tells Fulop that five of the meetings were canceled “within the past hour.”
Fulop had been set to meet with state Treasurer Andrew P. Sidamon-Eristoff as well as tops officials from the Office of Recovery and Rebuilding, Department of Transportation, Department of Community Affairs and the Economic Development Authority.
— Andrew Grossman (@A_Grossman) January 13, 2014
Jersey City, NJ's second largest city after Newark, was hit hard during Hurricane Sandy (aka, Christie's signature issue), and some of the meetings were related to recovery efforts. The Wall Street Journal notes that this casts some doubts about what Christie said during his marathon apology: "When asked about cutting off communication with Mr. Fulop, Mr. Christie said last week that discussions have continued with Jersey City and projects have continued to move forward. 'We've continued to work with Jersey City over the course of time since he's been mayor,' he said."
Fulop said in a statement today, "The emails that were requested speak for themselves. Our administration has sought to operate in a professional and cooperative manner with the Christie Administration." As for Bridgegate, subpoenas are going out to Christie's top aides today.